The Second Woman

by Kenneth Cameron

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on The Second Woman


April 2010 Editor's Choice.


The third Denton mystery centres on political intrigue, terrorism 1900s-style and the beginnings of the British secret intelligence organization, as London becomes a hotbed of anarchist plotting. A great mystery thriller and a fascinating insight into the beginnings of the British intelligence agency.


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Dear Reader,

Most great crime novels are just that: great crime novels.  But occasionally one comes along that’s so good it reaches way beyond any mere genre.  These are the ones that haunt us long after the last page has been turned, that change the way we think about things, the ones we simply call great novels.  Kenneth Cameron’s The Second Woman belongs in that category.

Denton is an American author living in London in the 1900s.  He fought in the American Civil War.  He’s seen death close up.  He also had a disastrous marriage that ended with his wife’s suicide.  But if he came to England looking to escape humanity’s dark side, he chose the wrong place.

When a woman’s body is found in his back garden, it’s certainly a puzzle.  But more mysterious than how she came to be there and who killed her is why officials from the ‘Home Office’ have elbowed the police aside and spirited the body away as if it never existed.

As the East End fills with refugees from the pogroms and fears of anarchist bomb plots take hold of the public imagination, Denton has his own very personal reasons for trying to identify the dead woman.  But his pursuit of the truth will lead him into a deadly labyrinth, replete with horrors even he has not encountered before, as he finds himself caught up in the painful birth of Britain’s first secret intelligence service. 

With its ingeniously crafted plot and rich cast of characters, this is crime-writing of the highest order.  But Kenneth Cameron’s real achievement in The Second Woman is to bring a vanished world to startlingly vivid life while telling a story about freedom, secrecy and terror that is chillingly contemporary.

I hope you enjoy it.  And if you do, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are already two other books to read featuring Denton (The Frightened Man and The Bohemian Girl), and more on the way.  I would welcome your thoughts on all of them.

Yours sincerely

Bill Massey

Deputy Publishing Director, Orion Books

The Second Woman Synopsis

Denton is drawn into a complex web of murder and revenge when a mysterious Polish woman is found dead in the house adjoining his - the one occupied by his lover, Janet Stryker - and while the police remain baffled, he begins to suspect she is the victim of some sort of political conspiracy. But involving himself in the life and death of Lydia Alken will prove more dangerous than he could have imagined, as Denton himself falls victim to the fledgling British intelligence service and discovers exactly what the price of freedom really is, while the real story of Lydia Alken's murder provides the biggest shock of all.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780752890500
Publication date: 15/04/2010
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd)
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780752890500
Publication date: 15th April 2010
Author: Kenneth Cameron
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd)
Format: Paperback
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Literary Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,

About Kenneth Cameron

Kenneth Cameron is the author of one previous novel featuring Denton, THE FRIGHTENED MAN, as well as of plays staged in Britain and the US, and the award-winning Africa on Film: Beyond Black and White. He lives part of the year in northern New York State and part in the southern US.

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